We still fall for it in the development world don’t we? The cult of the ‘hero’ or ‘rockstar’:
- Extremely deep knowledge of their chosen technology? Very often and that’s great.
- Ability to communicate? If it confirms their approach.
- Working on a common goal? If they set it.
- Unable to be questioned about their approach? I can’t work under these conditions, I’ll be in my trailer.
- Sloppy and inconsistent? Maybe some of that too.
‘Individual commitment to a group effort – that is what makes a team work, a company work’ ~ Vince Lombardi
- Able to create long term relationships? Loads of this.
- Mindful of the impact of their actions on others? Loads of that too.
- Information shared to enable each other to progress? Constantly this.
- Respect for each others strengths and even weaknesses? Oodles of this.
I personally have changed a great deal in this respect. I used to get frustrated with those who didn’t want to change the world.
Not anymore. There is (and should be) space for those who wish to blaze a trail and those who wish to provide consistent approach and attention to detail. Don’t get me wrong, I would never want to damage the enthusiasm and drive of such a person, just that they might be mindful of the environment they create.
I wouldn’t feel right if I didn’t explore the other side of the argument. One question always springs to mind; ‘Who wouldn’t want to work with a hero?’ Changing the world, pushing the boundaries and yes even enhancing the skills and knowledge of those around them with their reflected glory. Definitely some positives there, I’m still unconvinced that they outweigh the more subtle negatives.
In my opinion and experience, both of these characters flourish best as a part of a team. That’s how great things are achieved in the software development world. Not alone. Even wolves run in packs.